Sterilization for Women (Tubal Ligation)

Tubal Ligation

Table Of Contents

What is Tubal Ligation?

This form of birth control procedure is meant to be permanent. During this procedure, a health care professional will close/block a woman’s Fallopian tubes.

This can be doing in several ways:

  • The procedure called tubal ligation works by tying and cutting the tubes. The tubes are sealed by an instrument that sets electrical current but sometimes can be closed by rings, clamps or clips. In some cases, a small piece of the tube is removed.
  • Enssure, brand name of the next procedure, works by inserting tiny inserts into the tubes. The Fallopian tubes will be blocked as tissue grows around the tiny inserts.

How Does Tubal Ligation Prevent Pregnancy?

This method prevents sperm from reaching the eggs. One egg is released each month and passes through the Fallopian tubes towards the uterus. Serialization allows to blocking each of these tubes so the eggs cannot reach the uterus.

What Are the Benefits?

This method is a permanent method of birth control that allows you to enjoy sex without worrying about pregnancy. It is simple, convenient, and safe because it lasts forever. Most women say that they have an increase in sexual pleasure. This is because they don’t have to think about unwanted pregnancy.

This does not affect or change your hormone levels. These hormones that affect breast size, sex drive, muscle tone, voice, hair are still made in the ovaries. The hormones still flow through your body as normal. Normal periods will still occur and this method does not make menopause happen earlier.

This might be right for you if:

  • Family is complete and no more children are wanted (you and your partner agree)
  • Sterilization is better for you (you and your partner agree that vasectomy is not for him)
  • Do not want to pass a hereditary disability or illness
  • Future pregnancy can threaten your life
  • Other birth control methods are unacceptable
  • Increased concern about side effects of other methods

What Are the Disadvantages?

This method is not for you if you:

  • Want to have a biologically child in the future
  • Being pressured by friends, family, and or partner
  • Trying to solve a short term/temporary problem (being out of work, financial worries, physical illness, short-term mental, sexual or marriage problems).

You do not need your partner’s consistent in order to be sterilized. It is important to think about the future and any possible life changes such as death of child, remarriage or divorce.

Since this is a more permanent procedure, reversal could cost thousands of dollars. This includes complicated surgery and no guarantees that you could become pregnant. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to reconnect to tubes considering there may not be any tubes left to connect.

The risks of infection during or after the incision are fairly low. Some of these include reaction to anesthetic, infection and bleeding. These can be generally treated by antibiotics and if bowel, uterus, bladder or blood vessels are insured, another surgery will be needed.

Only 1-4 women out of 100 sterilizations have complications. Death while performing this surgery is fairly rare and may be caused by the reaction to general anesthesia.

Symptoms that last 1-3 days of people using Essure include vaginal discharge or light menstrual period.

These symptoms are more severe and might be addressed immediately:

  • Fainting spells
  • Continuous/severe abdominal pain
  • Odor or unusual discharge from your vagina
  • Rash or fever
  • Bleed from an incision
  • Difficulty breathing

How Effective is it?

This is the only birth control option that is nearly 100% effective. Fewer than 3 women out of 1,000 who have Essure will become pregnant. Fewer than 5 women out of 1,000 who have traditional incision methods will become pregnant.

Essure will take up to 3 months for it to be effective. Most of the other kinds of sterilization methods are effective right away. Keep in mind that this birth control method doesn’t protect against STI and a condom should be used to reduce the risks.

How Safe is Tubal Ligation?

Sterilization is generally to be a safe procedure but there are some risks. One risk that the tubes may reconnect by themselves (rare). Or with Essure, there is a change that the inserts slip out of place or put in the wrong place. If this happens, a second procedure is needed or another birth control method may need to be chosen.

1 out of 3 people that get pregnancy develops within the Fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy). This is service and could be life threaten, please see a health care professional right away. If your health care professional is not available, visit the hospital emergency room. Some signs of ectopic pregnancy include sudden weakness or fainting, pain in the top of the shoulder or abdomen, and/or irregular bleeding from the vagina.

How do I get Sterilized?

The first thing to do is talk to your health care professional about getting sterilized. This procedure can be performed in a medical office, clinic or hospital. There may be waiting periods or different laws that may restrict you from getting sterilized.

If you want to get sterilized after childbirth, these arrangements need to be set up in advance. Procedures can be combined with others.

Helpful Tips

The cost of sterilization can range from $0-6,000 and cost more than a vasectomy. If the procedure needs to be done in a hospital, it can cost even more.

Recovery from Essure is usually instantaneous (where women can go back to work the same day) or can take a few days to resume normal activities. It is important to talk to a health care professional before having sex again. Another birth control method is recommended until tubes are reviewed to see if they are actually blocked or not.

The discomfit you feel after sterilization depends on the type of procedure, general health and how well you deal with pain. You might feel slight discomfort in the abdomen area, feel dizzy, should pain, abdominal cramping, bloated, gassy or nauseous.